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Don’t Just Learn the Lesson, Live the Lesson: Study Abroad Trips for Collaborative and Community-Based Sustainability
In this activity, students participate in an immersive, place-based volunteer learning experience where they engage with community members in a mutual process of learning about and practicing sustainability.


By: Ashley Colby (Rizoma Field School)

Session type: Extended sessions, Undergraduate level, Small size


  • Place-based learning

  • Consumption as cultural

  • Learning from practitioners


Introduction to the teaching example:

This activity prompts students to consider consumption and production processes and their effects while engaging with community partners in novel ways in a new environment. This experience supports students to become aware of the ways that various people are currently tackling issues related to sustainable consumption and production in tangible ways. 


Students take part in a study exchange service learning opportunity in which they work on sustainability initiatives with local partners. The projects allow students to see current community efforts in fields like sustainable agriculture, which in turn cultivates fresh ideas. Students work primarily in the field of sustainable production, concentrating on initiatives like bio-construction and agroecological food production. After finishing the projects, students and teachers discuss their experiences and relate them to more general concerns about production and consumption.

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